Developing a website can be cost-prohibitive for many businesses, but website builders provide an easy, and often free, way for people with little technical experience to create a website. If you’ve been thinking of starting a website for your business, follow this guide on how to make one for free.
- Free website builders are financially beneficial but have various drawbacks, such as limited storage space and customizations.
- There are several steps to building a website, starting with choosing a web builder and a domain name.
- You can upgrade to a paid site if you need more storage space, a better user experience (UX), or more customization options, among other reasons.
What Do You Need To Know About Free Website Builders?
Free website builders are a great way to start your website, but there are some drawbacks to consider. For instance, most free web builders offer limited features compared to their paid counterparts. A free website builder may limit your storage space, lack support for e-commerce sites, or display ads on your site. These limitations vary among free website builders, so you’ll need to find one supporting your needed features.
Website builders also limit the customizations you can select for your site’s design. If you have a precise idea of the site you want, you may be unable to create it with a website builder. Rest assured — you can still make a beautiful site but must be flexible about its design.
Additionally, if you want to move your website to a different platform, transferring away from the website builder you used initially can be difficult. You may need to redesign your website entirely when moving it to another platform.
How To Build a Website for Free
Step 1: Choose a website builder
The first step is choosing a website builder that has a free version. There are numerous website builders, but not all have a free plan. When selecting your website builder, consider the following factors:
- Supported features: Website builders offer different features in their free and paid tiers, so it’s important to consider what you need before choosing one. Do you need e-commerce capabilities or a booking system? Does the builder provide a drag-and-drop editor for adding and removing sections from your site? Do you want your website to provide a newsletter service or to support any external plug-ins?
- Ease of use: Consider its usability. Reading user reviews is the best way to get information about ease of use. It can also be beneficial to look at the availability of help text online. Is there useful documentation for setting up a site or a page of FAQs? How responsive is the customer service?
- Potential to upgrade plans: It’s essential to know how easy it is to upgrade to a paid plan if your website builder’s free version no longer meets your needs. Most website builders provide additional features within paid tiers, so it’s wise to look for an option that can expand with your business.
- Mobile optimized: Now that 91% of Americans own a cellphone, and about 55% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, your website must be mobile-friendly. Most website builders support mobile optimization across all layouts, but sometimes this can be specific to individual templates.
- Web address: Unless you want to pay to register your domain name, you’ll have one assigned by the website builder, like “yourdomainname.freewebhostname.com.” Find out how customizable your site’s web address will be.
- Hosting: Free website builders typically host your website unless you have a domain name and want to handle your hosting, but you should expect limitations on hosting space and traffic.
Step 2: Select a design template
You’ll select a free template once you’re ready to start designing your website. This provides a set of initial pages for your website that you can customize with your content.
Templates are often designed with a specific type of website in mind and may accommodate features based on the targeted website type. For example, an e-commerce storefront, a personal portfolio, and a blog template will generally include different page layouts and built-in features.
After you choose a template, most free website builders allow you to customize it to fit your website. Check if you can easily adjust fonts and colors and add or remove page sections. Additionally, most templates will provide layouts for multiple types of content, so adding new pages to your website is easy.
Step 3: Develop site content
Most sites should include a homepage, about us, and contact pages. Additional pages you include, such as a shop page or blog, will depend on your business.
Step 4: Optimize for search
By optimizing your website for organic search with search engine optimization (SEO), you can make it easier for new customers to find your business. To improve your website’s SEO, include relevant keywords naturally within page titles, headers, and the content of your webpages. You can use free keyword research tools like Keyword Explorer, Google Trends, and Answer the Public to find content people are searching for. You can also optimize your website for search by consistently updating it. Creating new website content also introduces new opportunities for customers to find your site.
When Do You Upgrade to a Paid Site?
The features your free website builder offers may not meet your site’s needs someday. Your site may not have as many customization options as you’d like or need more storage space. Or it may even be that upgrading to a paid site simply offers a better UX.
Generally, most paid tiers give you more control of ads on your site, have better customer support, and can provide professional email hosting services. So while you can make a free website for your business, choosing a website builder that grows with your business is essential.
FAQS About Making a Free Website
Is there a way to make a website for free?
Yes, you can use a free website builder, though it will have some limitations.
How can I create my website and domain for free?
Some providers, such as Wix, give you a free domain name and its web builder.
How much does a website cost per month?
Though there are free builders, it costs around $200 to build a website on average, and the ongoing cost to maintain it is about $50 per month. If you hire a designer, you will pay about $6,000 upfront, with an ongoing cost of $1,000 annually.
Does it cost money to make a website?
There are typically costs associated with building a website, but some free options exist.